Genetic variability in Jatropha curcas was induced by different doses (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 kR) of gamma-rays. Gamma radiation induced earliness in flowering and the plants set flowers earlier than that of control, which took longer duration of 327 days for flowering. The improved reproductive and yield parameters such as days taken to first flowering, flowering population, male to female ratio and seed yield per plant were recorded in 25 kR dose and seed germination in 5 and 10 kR treated seeds. Molecular characterization of induced mutants (M1 generation) with 47 Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) primers showed 65.27% polymorphism. The variability created by gamma rays ranged from 9 to 28%. The 50 kR mutant was found to be the most diverse from control followed by 25 kR mutant. Thus, this integrated approach can be used for carrying out the mutation-assisted breeding and subsequent selection of desired mutants using molecular markers in J. curcas.
Key words: Jatropha curcas, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), gamma-rays, induced mutagenesis.
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